What should I bid? (May 2020)


What should I bid? (May 2020)

The best submission for May came from Jessica Brake. She wins a voucher of $30 funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at the Bridge Shop or Paul Lavings Bridgegear.


Sitting South at  unfavourable vulnerability.

West North East South
    1 Pass
1 1 2 ?

We have a great hand opposite partner’s 1 overcall.
2NT, 3, 3 and 3 are all possible contender’s for artificial raises – it’s not often that the opponent’s have bid three suits before you raise!
In competetive auctions we use 2NT for 4 card limit raises, so that would still apply here. How would you differentiate between 3, 3 and 3?

Hi Jessica,

That’s a good question. It is definitely important to be showing a good raise in spades here (even though everyone is bidding!) as we could be the one that’s making a game.

Partnership agreements will apply here, so there’s effectively no “right” or “wrong” ways here. I would suggest something like:

2NT= 4+ 10+
3 = Natural (assuming we didn’t have a natural 2 overcall available before)

This leaves 3 and 3. One possibility is to play 3 (the lower cuebid) as the 3-card 10+ raise, and 3 as 4-card mixed (6-9) raise, which makes the 3 bid as the preemptive (0-6) raise. Preemptive raise does not make much sense at this vulnerability, but it would make more sense if we were not vulnerable. Perhaps at vulnerable, the preemptive raise is something like 3-7 points and will guarantee some shape.

This auction along with these agreements do seem like an odd one to remember (since I’ve never really come across three possible cuebids before), but usually my philosophy is that if we have two (or more) cue raises available, take a look to see if one of them could potentially be a “natural” bid. If so, then it would be natural and the other one would be a cue raise. If neither one can possibly be natural, then the lower cuebid is the 3-card cue raise, and the higher cuebid is the mixed raise (if 2NT is unavailable for the 4-card 10+ raise, then the higher cuebid would take its meaning).

Hope that helps,

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